Apple is unveiling its latest iPhone lineup today at the company’s annual launch in Cupertino, California, where the tech giant is also expected to introduce new Apple Watches, Airpods and other gear.
The event is an important showcase for Apple, which wants to spur consumers to upgrade their older iPhones in favor of its latest devices. This year is especially important given that the company is struggling to break out of a slump that’s led to a sales drop in three consecutive quarters.
Here’s what to know about today’s event.
What time is the Apple keynote event today?
The Apple event starts at 10 a.m. Pacific time/1 p.m. Eastern time.
Where can you watch the announcement?
When will the iPhone 15 be available for purchase?
The Apple iPhone 15 should be available for sale as of September 22, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.
What will the iPhone 15 cost?
Apple is expected to raise the prices of the higher-end iPhones, the Pro and Pro Max.
The current top model, the iPhone 14 Pro, starts at $1,000, while the Pro Max starts at $1,100. The iPhone 15 versions of those models may cost an additional $100 to $200, analysts said.
The question for Apple is whether consumers will shell out $1,200 or more for an iPhone, although Ives said the extra features in the top-shelf iPhones “warrants this strategic pricing move from Apple.”
What is new about the iPhone 15?
All models of the iPhone 15 should have the “Dynamic Island” for app notifications — a look that was introduced with last year’s Pro and Pro Max devices.
The Pro model is expected to have some bigger changes, including an upgrade to an A17 bionic chip that will improve speed and performance for that phone, Ives said in a report. The Pro model also should have titanium on the edges, rather than stainless steel.
“We believe the star of the launch will be the iPhone 15 Pro Max having periscope telephoto lens that significantly boosts the optical zoom capability,” Ives wrote. “This will allow for 5x-6x optical zoom vs. 3x with the iPhone 14 Pro.”
Is the iPhone charger moving from Lightning?
Analysts expect Apple to phase out its Lightning port cables, which were rolled out in 2012 with the iPhone 5, because of a mandate from European regulators that all phones use the USB-C charging port starting in late 2024.
However, It’s unclear whether Apple will initially limit the switch to USB-C to models made specifically for the European market or make the change in markets worldwide.
If Apple decides it’s time to move away from Lightning port cables across the globe, the transition may not be too inconvenient for most consumers. That’s because USB-C cables already are so widely used on a range of computers, smartphones and other devices that many people may already own them.
The shift to USB-C cables may even prove popular since that standard typically charges devices more quickly and also offers faster speeds for data transfers.
What else is Apple announcing?
Besides its new iPhones, Apple also typically uses the annual showcase to unveil its next generation of smartwatches — a product that made its debut nearly a decade ago. The arrival of the new iPhones also sets the stage for the next version of the software that powers the device.
That operating system, iOS 17, will be available as a free download to previous generations later this month and will include new features such as the ability to read a transcription of a message being left on an unanswered call in real time, with an option of deciding to talk to the person on the line before the voicemail is finished.
Should I upgrade my iPhone?
About 25% of Apple’s 1.2 billion iPhone users haven’t upgraded their phones in four years, according to Ives. Some of those 300 million people with older iPhones may be wondering if it’s time to open their wallets and get a new device this year.
Still, it can be tough to determine when it’s time to retire your old phone and switch to the latest iPhone, especially when prices are going up. Much of that decision could depend on what type of handset you currently use, with owners of newer models having less of a reason to upgrade, Olivier Blanchard, a research director at tech research firm The Futurum Group, told CBS MoneyWatch
“I’m not hearing about any amazing new features,” he said. “We’re not going to see anything super crazy interesting or different, unfortunately.”
But if you have a smartphone that’s older than the iPhone 12, the iPhone 15’s new chip, improved camera features and USB-C port could be a big step up.
—With reporting by the Associated Press.